With The Season
One motto I have is do things in sync with the seasons. This applies to sampling and perhaps oversampling the wild blackberries that are in season in the area.
Where I slept for the night is a temple guest facility right next to Hop On Farms, an obvious rich agricultural zone. My choice of walking routes is in the harvest rich area where the sweetness of smell and taste lures me. This tendency to grab at what beckons to be grabbed has been there since adolescence when my summers meant being employed in southern Ontario orchards. It’s the season to indulge in fruit.
It’s summertime that also lures devotional souls to the street. I was assigned to queuing the chanting leaders on Beach Avenue for the Chariot Festival of India at Vancouver’s English Bay. There’s a sweetness to the ears with all the Sanskrit mantras, and in particular, the Hare Krishna mantra. I also was scheduled to lead and I did so with pleasure until I was whisked away to emcee the main stage event.
Magic does happen at socio-spiritual events. I did a welcome address and as I was descending the stage’s stairs, I recognized a cousin, Henry Riken, whom I hadn’t seen for 25 years. He and his 18 year old daughter happened to stumble upon our festival. He wondered if I would be here and sure enough, there I was. It was a pleasant encounter.
I received a compliment later on for being a savvy entertainment host, the first time I’ve tackled this service for a 6 hour time slot. I was made to feel good with the remark because as was expressed I did not apologize for being what I am, a monk and a Hare Krishna one at that. Now this is in one sense, what the entire walking mission is about – a sense of being proud of what I represent – our guru, our God, our culture, our philosophy. In fact, I enjoy being in that spot and feeling that way whether on stage or street. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, even though history tells of mistakes made. Overall, there is much to boast about, and I say that in all humility.
Thank God (Jaganatha) for the summer season which allows us to put on an outdoor festival and thanks for the delicious blackberries as well.